Monday, August 26, 2013

It's the first day of school!!!

The alarm went off at 6:30 this morning and the rush was on!!!!  

Will was out the front door by 7 a.m.  He couldn't get on the school bus fast enough!  No surprise since he's been talking about "Phillips School" since his last day of his old school in June!  

Then it was time to get little mama ready for her first day of kindergarten at Corbell Elementary.  Ryan and I marveled in the ability to participate in the neighborhood ritual of walking our kid to school.  With coffee and camera and in hand, we set off...

Bryn had a little separation anxiety when we got to her classroom, but thank goodness there were no tears!  I did get a little misty-eyed.  It's so sweet seeing your baby going to "kinniegarden."

But I'm a Baptist...

I'm a Christian.  So is Ryan, albeit a little more conservative than I am.  Our relationship with Christ is an important one - our marriage and family's foundation is based on it.  So with all the moving around we did, to Davis for law school, Buffalo for football, etc., the first step was to find a good church.  We don't function right if we're not in church.

When we moved home in 2008, we visited numerous churches before joining Prestonwood Baptist Church.  It is an amazingly large church.  We like to call it Six Flags Over Jesus.  We were blessed with an amazing special needs ministry.  Will had a safe and appropriate setting to learn about God while we were in church.  And the choir.  The choir is the reason why I never wear makeup to church.  Prestonwood's choir was way up there on the reasons why we chose to join the church.  So we did so on Easter in 2009.  We'd found our church home.

Things were great until last year's election season.  Up until then, I was really just a happy baptist enjoying some great sanging (yes, sanging) and hearing the word.  And the sermons were good.  Really good.  But it because clear to me that as a baptist who happens to be a democrat, worshiping at Prestonwood was going to be difficult.  Sermons were slanted (slanted isn't a strong enough word) to the right.  It became... uncomfortable for me to be in church.  So I decided to take an election season sabbatical while Ryan and the kids continued to attend the services.  After the election was over, I was grateful that our pastor Jack Graham asked the congregation to pray for our president.  Things got back to normal.  At least I thought they did.

Two weeks ago, a guest preacher took to the pulpit to deliver the weeks message.  Gary Frazier was giving a good, passionate sermon that morning.  But then things changed.  He started talking about gay marriage.  Let me say now that I support gay marriage.  I know what the Bible says about being gay.  And I'm not gay.  So therefore, I don't have to atone for that sin in the Bible.  I've got a lot of other things I'll have to account for, but I'll deal with those later.  Anyway, I support gay marriage.  I know that's not in line with what my church believes, but I deal with that.

But where Gary Frazier messed up is when he said the Bible will never be "left."  At that point, the sermon got real personal because he was talking to me as a democrat.  Politicizing the Bible from the pulpit???  The words certainly made me feel unwelcome in that church at that moment.  With my palms sweating and my heart racing, it was the next thing that he said that made me get up and walk out of the church.  And that's something I have NEVER ever considered doing, even if I don't agree with the message.  Well, Gary Frazier when on to indirectly refer to our president as "wicked," and that's when I'd had enough.  I grabbed my LV bag and marched my way right on out of that church.

Then I sat in the hall shaking and I cried.  I cried because I knew I was going to have to ask Ryan to consider leaving the church.  He loves Prestonwood.  And I've been trying to make it work because the reality is I really like it too.  He comforted me as I pulled myself together.  As we rode home, we talked about how it might be time to look for another church.  Ryan understood and I am so grateful for that.  

If what Gary Frazier was preaching is what I've got to believe to be a baptist, then I don't want any part of it.  I found his blog later that day and not only did he call President Obama wicked, he also called him the anti-christ.  Blog post after blog post is about Obama.  There is this strange hateful obsession going on with that man, and I can't believe my church gave him a platform.   Oh, and he also agreed with Representative Akin.  Remember him?  The legitimate rape guy?  Yep, said he was right and more conservatives need to stand behind him.

And so here we are once again on the hunt trying to find a church.  For all we know, we'll be lead to stay at Prestonwood but for now, we have to explore our options.

Today, we visited Watermark Community Church.  It's another big church right off of 635 and 75 - you can't miss it.  The building is beautiful.  It's a nondenominational church and one of my Junior League friends attends.  I even ran into her today - TWICE.  A big requirement for us is that the church we attend have a special needs ministry.  Boy do they!  During the 9 am service, Will was with the other kids his age but he had a buddy.  If we attend an 11:15 service, they actually have more of a classroom environment set up with a special education teacher and a music therapist.  It was really great.

The church itself is so beautiful.  Serene is the word that comes to mind.  There is an indoor treehouse that the kids can play in.  There are rocking chairs outside next to a beautiful pool.  There's coffee and tea to take into the service.  The worship team was awesome - the music reminded me a lot of the worship I experienced when I participated with Athletes in Action.  We were really impressed by the time the pastor took to the stage.

Wouldn't you know that the sermon today was about what the church's core values are???  As we seek out a house of worship, it's important to know what the congregation stands for.  Again, we were really, really impressed.  

We look forward to going back in a couple of weeks.  I would love to hear from folks if they have any experience with this church - I'd appreciate it!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

We knew this day was coming...

Our NFL insurance runs out at the end of the month.  We'll be taking advantage of COBRA.  Ryan will be eligible for Medicare in October so it will just be the kids and I.  We've also got someone looking into a cheaper plans.  We'll see what he comes up with - hopefully better than what we've got now.  But there aren't a lot of insurers lining up to take on a kid with autism, a broke down former NFL player and a mom with lots of conditions.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Meet the teacher night!

Well, school starts Monday (THANK YOU JESUS) so we got a chance to meet the kids' teachers tonight.

Bryn will be in Mrs. Peek's class at Corbell.  During the intro meeting tonight, we found out they decided to add another kindergarten class, so there will only be 17-18 kids in each class.  I LOVE my school district!  Bryn will need some attention - after being in Montessori school for several years, this is bound to be a bit of a transition for her.  But she's a champ - I know she'll do great!

Will will be attending Phillips School this year.  It's his fifth school since 2008!  Luckily he does great with transitions.  His teacher Mrs. Biggers is so excited about her class.  She has a heart for our kiddos and I know Will is going to thrive in her class.  The school is great too - they set up a picture area for families to commemorate the beginning of the school year!

A highlight of the night was watching Will recognize his teachers and staff.  His teachers at his old school made a picture book of his new school, complete with pictures of the staff and all of the different rooms like the gym, music room, etc.  He'd see a teacher/staff member he recognized from the book.  He'd say, "What is your name?"  The teacher would respond, and he'd say something along the lines of, "Mrs. _____ from the speech class."  It was pretty awesome!

Can't wait to see what this school year brings!

How about some pie?!?!?

I know it's been a minute since I've posted but I've been busy!  Had to drive back and forth to Austin twice for Mrs. Smith's commercial (pies) audition.  I messed around and booked it!  We filmed yesterday in Austin - I had to eat three slices of apple pie!  I'm not complaining on bit about it either!!!!

Driving home after the shoot yesterday, I saw this sight and I literally had to get off of the freeway to take a picture.  I wish I had sat and marveled a little longer because after I got back in the car, the sun actually set behind the clouds.  It was stunning.

Anyway, it's been a great spring/summer for me.  I've worked more in 4 months than I did all last year.  Voiceover work, two national commercials, and a training video.  Feeling very blessed! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A full day at The Broadcast!

One of the ladies on the panel was sick this morning so I got to fill in for the entire show!  It was so much fun.  We talked about everything from politics to bedtime routines.  Pat Smith looking beautiful in her bonnet put the rest of us to shame!

I had a couple of flubs reading a prompter for the first time in a while, and it took me a little bit to find my flow.  But it was a fun show!

Pictures compliments of Cynthia Smoot (Oh So Cynthia)